Letter to the editor: Are we better off now than four years ago?

Jonathan Kyle Upchurch

Recently, Republicans have been asking the question: “Are we/you better off than we/you were 4 years ago?” To me, and many Americans, the answer is simple: a resounding “yes.”

With Barack Obama as our president, no one has to hide whom they love to serve the country they love; the war in Iraq is over, and the war in Afghanistan is drawing down; our diplomatic standing has been restored in a world where global relationships are more important than ever; and through tax credits and Pell Grants college is more affordable and accessible.

With Obama as president, young, law-abiding, productive immigrants can study or serve in peace, knowing they will not be deported from the only country they know as home; women can much more easily fight for their right to equal pay in the courts; nearly all Americans will have health care insurance after Obamacare is fully implemented; young adults can stay on their parents’ health care coverage until they’re 26; and pre-existing conditions no longer limit one’s ability to pay for health care insurance.

And, perhaps most importantly, rather than the economic abyss into which we were staring prior to Jan. 20, 2009, we have a steadily, if slowly, recovering economy that has been creating jobs (4 million in the private sector) rather than losing them at a clip of 750,000 per month (as it was during the last year of Republican policies).

The next time you hear the question “Are you better off?,” take a look around. You’ll see a more peaceful, accepting and productive America than the one Republican policies left behind. Our president understands that “this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.”  He understands citizenship. Yes, we are better off. The question is how much worse off would we be had Bush, McCain or Romney been able to continue the failed policies of the past?

And the answer to that is scary.

The ISU College Democrats will host their first official meeting of the fall at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in 1115 Pearson Hall. Stop by if you believe in the policies of progress and fairness Obama espouses.